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Musicians Mourn Violinist Kyun Hyuk Joo's Sudden Death

by YuGee / Oct 14, 2016 06:14 AM EDT
Kwun Hyuk Joo

After reports surrounding the death of violinist Kwun Hyuk Joo inside a taxi on Wednesday, many popular and respected musicians in the country expressed their grief and sadness on social media, according to a report from Korea JoongAng Daily.

On her Facebook account, internationally-renowned violinist Chung Kyung Hwa wrote, "I'm overwhelmed with grief by this precipitous death. He was an outstanding violinist and a young man who so loved music. I had so much to talk about and stories to share with you, but I never dreamt that our farewell would come this fast. Hyuk Joo, my heart aches. Rest in peace and I will never forget you."

Pianist Julius-Jeongwon Kim posted a clip of a recent performance with the deceased violinist and said, "Hyuk Joo, everyone knows what an earnest and genuine musician you were. That innocent and pure personality of yours and the music you left in this world will always be remembered as well. You were always overworked, now, rest in peace."

Another pianist, Sunwook Kim, wrote, "He had always been my favorite brother and a colleague. I played Strauss' violin sonata for the first time with him, as well as Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio. We traveled to Europe together for the first time for concerts and I loved hearing his life stories. It's too early for him to leave."

Soprano Im Seon Ae who was with Kwun on his last concert in Daegu on October 4 said, "He will always be remembered whenever I sing the songs we have performed together."

Kwun was often called a musical genius in Korea and was popular among people in the industry. According to the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation, Kwun's sponsor and concert organizer, the 31-year old violinist was on his way back to his hotel in Busan after having "a small amount of refined rice wine with his friends who reside there."

In a statement, the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation said, "We've been working together with Kwun for the past 20 years and he always thoroughly prepared for his concerts, making sure he adjusts his condition the day before his concert. Kwun was a strict violinist who came at least 20 minutes early for all his rehearsals. It looks like his busy schedule must have been a considerable cost to his health." The organization also emphasized that Kwun was not drunk when he was found unconscious inside the taxi.

Based on police reports, the driver of the taxi said that Kwun looked like he was sleeping but upon arrival at the hotel, he found out the violinist was not breathing. A staff of the hotel performed CPR but was not able to wake him up. Police also found arrhythmia pills in his possession, suggesting that the musician had heart trouble. The result of the autopsy suggested that he died of acute myocardial infarction or in a more common term, heart attack. 

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